I'm an American citizen who reads about issues and votes in municipal elections, but I'm a little bit flummoxed as to the method by which we select the next President of our nation, a method we have all come to accept.
1) Why don't we all go to primaries on the same day? The piecemeal mishmash of primaries and caucuses favors voters who happen to live in certain states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina) and punishes voters who happen to live in other states (Montana, Oregon and North Carolina, for example). If the influence the press has on the outcome of an election is important enough to avoid declaring a winner before polls close on a particular election day, why is it okay to declare a winner in a party's presidential nomination before millions of voters in other states have had their say?
2) What the hell is the point of non-binding caucus? Much like a congressional non-binding resolution ordering the President to remove troops from Iraq, why should anyone care what anything non-binding has to say about who should be our next President...ial nominee?
3) Why do so many caucuses involve several layers of needless representation? For instance in Iowa precinct delegates are selected based proportionally on the votes from individuals in that precinct, and those delegates go to county conventions, where they select delegates to go to district conventions, who then select delegates to go to the state convention, who aren't actually bound by anything that the precincts say. What if all the state convention delegates just happened to drink Ron Paul's kool-aid?
4) Why are Iowa and New Hampshire allowed to go first, but states like Michigan and Florida get punished if they try to horn in on those northern white-bread states? Are those two states ordained by God to be the sole defenders of democracy?
5) Why don't we care at all how many actual delegates are bound by these primaries? According to CNN.com, New Hampshire's democrats will send 9 delegates for Obama, 9 delegates for Clinton, 4 delegates for Edwards, and reserve 5 delegates for later. So in this Shocking Victory for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, in terms of the only metrics that actually matter, she only tied Obama.
6) Super-delegates: kind of suspicious, no? About 20% of the vote at the Democratic convention will be from super-delegates who don't have to vote in any particular way. So if the number of delegates for Obama and Clinton, say, obtained before the convention are pretty close, these super-delegates, who do not represent the will of the people and could very well represent the will of special interests, could collaborate and select whichever candidate they feel would be most friendly to, say, seal-clubbing. Why do we allow this?
7) Why aren't convention delegates bound by law or party registration or something to select who the voters voted for?
And this list is just for the primaries. The general election has its own anti-democratic process, but it's constitutionally ordained and way less shadowy than the ways in which the political parties go about their business.